Into the belly of the Beast

Lightbringer

A Clash of Gods

Bael sat with Randy and Taipan, discussing what do to next. As he was about to speak, they all felt a brief blast of heat. He turned to see Heironeous standing behind him. The god Paladin looked rough and weary, as though it had taken a lot of effort to get here. As though he had been in a fight.

Bael was on his feet immediately, drawing in a quick breath. "Where have you been?" he asked. He couldn't stop the questions. "What's happened to you? Are you okay? Why haven't we been able to reach each other?"

Heironeous gently put his hands on Bael's shoulders. They glowed softly, briefly. He watched Bael settle down a little bit. He took one of his hands and led him away from the others.

"Obelix came after me," he said to him softly, speaking in Celestial. "He attacked me and I fought him. Hard. I hurt him enough that he backed off but … I need Lightbringer. He'll come back." He watched Bael carefully has he told him these things, saw the worry in his eyes. "He won't stop until I'm dead."

Bael looked up at him for a long time before he lowered his gaze and nodded. He turned from him and went to retrieve the sword. It was in its sheath on his sword belt, hanging near the door. He drew the blade and held it in his hands for some time, staring at it. Something told him not to give it to him. He glanced at Taipan and Randy before he looked across the room at Heironeous, who waited for him patiently.

He sighed and he took the sword to him after a few more moments. He held it out to him. "Be careful," he said quietly, nervously.

Heironeous took the sword with one hand and gently touched the side of Bael's face with the other. "I won't let anything happen to me. You all mean too much to me," he said. He smiled that familiar warm smile.

Bael's lower lip quivered. "…..Please don't leave," he said after some hesitation. "Don't go from me.." He crossed his arms tightly. "Stay." His voice shook a little. He fought back the tears that welled up in his eyes. He had a dreadful feeling that this might be the last time he saw Heironeous.

Heironeous's smile turned sad. "I have to go. You know I have to go," he said gently. He stroked Bael's cheek with his thumb and then leaned down to kiss his forehead. "Be strong." He looked into his eyes. "I love you." He didn't give the tiefling a chance to speak. In a bright glare of sunlight he departed.

Bael stood there for a little while after he left, looking down. He had to come to terms with this. Obelix just kept making this personal. What was it about he and Mazadul that was so important? Nothing. I'm not important. I shouldn't even be here. Neither one of us should be here. But here we are …. He lifted his head and looked at Taipan and Randy. …. They're the important ones. They're Chosen. And …. I'll protect them for as long as I can.

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